We usually consider bus travel a good thing here at Inhabitat, but not when it involves building a disruptive and polluting Greyhound transportation terminal in front of a quiet neighborhood playground. Last week, DNAinfo reported on Greyhound's proposal to build a permanent large bus stop at the Lower East Side's historic Seward Park, and area residents have voiced their concerns about how such a station - which would see a stream of 28 departures a day (more than 2 an hour) - will negatively impact the surrounding environment, air quality, traffic and safety. Neighborhood residents who've heard about the news are appalled at the thought of having to share their peaceful neighborhood park playground, gathering space and library with hundreds of waiting strangers, their luggage, bus fumes and food trash, and have begun to take action with petitions and posters. If you live on the Lower East Side and do not want to see this new Greyhound terminal come to fruition at Seward Park, please read on to see how you can help oppose and prevent it.
Lower East Siders have already begun to spread the word about the detrimental nature of the proposed bus station and what can be done to stop it from being built. In addition to bringing a stream of people, luggage and buses to a quiet residential neighborhood and park where children play and elderly residents congregate, the stop would also mean more trash and traffic on and around Essex St. Residents also point out that Seward Park is a historical site and was the nations’s very first municipal playground – and it has no amenities for waiting bus passengers, so defacing it with a noisy bus station just doesn’t make sense. At the moment, the park serves as a haven for many Lower East Side families as a place to host events, exercise, gather and just relax, and the proposed bus stop could mean an end to all of that.
If you don’t want to see the Greyhound station built but figure that the city would never allow such a detrimental proposal to materialize, you may be surprised to know that certain members of Community Board 3, other local elected officials and the Department of Transportation may actually support the plan as it will be the first example of how the new NYS bus legislation, which is now awaiting Governor Cuomo’s signature, would bring “order” to the chaos that currently surrounds Chinatown’s buses.
The Port Authority is clearly feeling threatened by the growing Chinatown bus business, and wants to get in on the curbside bus action. While that sentiment is understandable, this is probably the worst possible proposed location for a bus terminal. We’d urge Greyhound to take a look at an empty former “New Century” Chinatown bus terminal (see below) at 86 Allen street, between Grand and Broome. That notorious NYC > Philly bus company got shut down in May 2012 by Federal Regulators for safety violations, and now their bus station at 86 Allen Street is empty and abandoned. Not to mention, there are restaurants nearby and seating in the median of Allen Street.
You might also feel that others will be leading the charge and that they’ll be able to shut down this proposal, but as in many residents vs. big company disputes such as this one, every single voice of dissent is crucial.
Luckily, showing your disapproval of the Greyhound proposal is easy. The first thing you can do is to sign an online here and comment with why you don’t want to see a noisy, polluting, 28-departure-per-day bus station in your neighborhood.
Next, CB3 will be having a meeting on Tuesday, September 11 at 6:30pm to give LES residents all of the facts. The more people attend, the better since everyone will know what they need to do to prevent the terminal from turning the area into a smoggy, trash-filled eyesore. The meeting will be held at University Settlement, Speyer Hall – 184 Eldridge Street (between Rivington & Delancey Streets).
** LOWER-EAST SIDE RESIDENTS, PLEASE ATTEND THE CB3 MEETING ON SEPT 11TH TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT TO STOP THIS PROPOSAL!